Home » What state has the worst employers? Kentucky ranks sixth

What state has the worst employers? Kentucky ranks sixth

Based on employee reviews, a new ranking has revealed which states are home to the worst employers- West Virginia ranked top, and California placed last.   

The study, conducted by resume specialists ResumeBlaze, looked at the number of companies rated 4.5 stars and above in each state and scaled this against the total number of jobs listed on Glassdoor to identify which has the highest likelihood of a bad boss.   

As well as looking at which states had the lowest-ranking employers, the data also reveals where performs worse for certain priorities like work/life balance and career opportunities.   

Despite unemployment rates being at a half-century low (according to figures from the Federal Reserve), some people will still be looking to switch jobs before the festive season hits – and employer ratings are a key concern for many.

West Virginia has the worst employers, as less than 1 in 10 (9.7%) of companies are rated at least 4.5 stars – a 33% decrease compared to the national average. The area that the states’ employers perform worst in is compensation and benefits. 

Compensation and benefits are important to workplace satisfaction, as they influence an employee’s motivation to work. Compensation means to pay a reward to the employee for their work. At the same time, the use of benefits refers to a non-financial reward given to workers as a form of gratitude from the organization directly to the employee. Many employees rely on work benefits to help them manage their day-to-day lives – especially regarding things like healthcare, bonuses, and retirement goals.

The second worst state to work in for those who want a positive experience is New Mexico, with just 10.8% of the state’s companies rated 4.5 stars and above, while North Dakota is named the third worst, with just 10.9% of highly rated employers.   

The ten states with the worst employers ranked 



 Proportion of Companies Rated    4.5 Stars +  

   Lowest-Performing Area  


West Virginia 


Compensation and Benefits 


New Mexico 


Compensation and Benefits 


North Dakota 


Career Opportunities 


South Dakota 


Compensation and Benefits 




Compensation and Benefits 




Compensation and Benefits 




Compensation and Benefits 




Compensation and Benefits 




Compensation and Benefits 


Rhode Island  


Compensation and Benefits 

On the other end of the scale, California is named the state with the best employers overall, with more than a fifth (21%) of companies rated 4.5 stars and up – this means that they have an increase in satisfaction of 54% compared to workers in West Virginia. 

Of the top-rated employers in this state, they perform best in diversity and inclusion. Florida is named the second-best state for employers, with a fifth (19%) of companies rated 4.5 stars and above, valued highest for diversity and inclusion within the workplace.     

Texas is the third-best state for employees seeking high-quality companies, with 19% of employers rated 4.5 stars or higher.    

As well as looking at which states have the lowest-quality employers, the analysis also looked at which job sectors have the worst ratings – with the military and protective services ranking last, with just 5% of companies rated 4.5 stars and above.   

The second and third worst job sectors are information technology, with just 12.2% of top-rated employers, and customer services and support, with 12.8%. Interestingly, the job sector with the best bosses is the legal sector, with 36% more companies rated 4.5 stars and over compared to the national average.   

Speaking on the findings, Darren Shafae, Founder of ResumeBlaze, said: “Those who are looking for a new job will almost definitely turn to employee reviews to judge the quality of a company – and those who are poorly rated are less likely to have enthusiastic applicants than those with glowing reviews.   

“Even if the employee reviews look good from the outside, there are some ‘red flags’ you should look out for when job hunting, which can help you decide which companies are worth your time and which aren’t. Here are 5 potential red flags:    

  • Vague Job Descriptions: If the job posting lacks specific details about the responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations, it may be a sign that the employer is not fully transparent or has no clear idea of what they want 
  • Unusual Requests: Be wary of employers who request personal or financial information unrelated to the job application process. Scammers may try to exploit job seekers for identity theft or fraud.  
  • High Turnover Rate: Research the company’s history and turnover rate. Frequent turnover can signify a toxic work environment or poor management.  
  • Too Good to Be True: Be cautious of job postings that promise extremely high salaries, rapid promotions, or benefits that seem too generous for the role. It might be a scam or a misleading opportunity if it sounds too good to be true.  
  • Lack of Benefits or Perks: If the company offers little to no benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, or professional development opportunities, it may not prioritize employee well-being and growth.”    

Remember that red flags are not definitive proof of a bad employer or job opportunity, but they should prompt you to investigate further and proceed with caution. Trust your instincts and conduct thorough research before making any decisions.” 

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